It is easy for an opinion writer to expose the popular truth but not so when it is the inconvenient truth. Thus, it was heartwarming for this Chair Wrecker to receive positive feedback over the “Manny Pacquiao didn’t win a great fight” column last Thursday — the inconvenient truth for many.
The positive responses were reassurances that there are many Filipinos out there who are not idiots, defined as those who do not know the truth. They were not fooled by the hype of these big boxing fights.
Because of the enormous money now being made in these big boxing promotions, there is reason to suspect that pugilists who generate the big bucks are set-up for fights that they are sure to win in order to prolong the running of the gravy train as well as to heighten the hype for the next rip-off.
Boxing has been known to be operated by sleazy police characters. It is not beyond them to fix fights and rake it in big time on Las Vegas bets which are placed on the favorite losing the fight.
The most prominent among those who responded to our Thursday column on the Pacquiao-de la Hoya fight was former Senator Serge Osmeña. Serge said: “After the first round, I was puzzled why de la Hoya was not deploying his jab. The second round confirmed my suspicion that he was going to throw the fight.”
Jun Embile of Ateneo de Naga wrote: “I totally agree. It was quite obvious that it was a sell out by de la Hoya. He appeared not as a fighter at all, as he claimed he was, but as a punching bag. You said it was to collect the money. I agree totally. He went through the motions of “fighting,” but it was not real fighting at all. At one point, I got scared for de la Hoya because he was really battered black and blue. It was not a dream match at all but a sell out.”
EJ Flores of Las Piñas wrote: “I give you credit for stating the truth about the recent “Dream Match.” I believe too that there are a lot of Filipinos who are just holding their piece against our “Pambansang Kamao” who, like his idol de la Hoya, a lucky “B” is becoming a “lucky SOB.” Yes, we have great Filipino boxers who earned their glory, conquering and winning great and memorable fights. You’re right, the Dream Match was a nightmare but in fairness, not because of Pacquiao. I admire his staff for knowing and choosing matches that could truly earn big bucks, even if these bouts are against fighters considered “over the hill (Barrera, Morales and now de la Hoya).” Our champion has not truly been tested against those in their prime (Valero et al). I’d love to see him square off with Hatton and Mayweather.”
Tony Chong, my former colleague in J. Walter Thompson, wrote: “Finally, I read a sensible view on the much vaunted Pacquiao-de la Hoya “fight” in your column this morning. Undoubtedly Pacquiao is a great boxer — however, it seems his handlers wanted to insure this “goldmine” keeps on winning fights. This was why they have been arranging match-ups with has-beens who were crowd-drawers in their prime but have either retired or about to retire. And it is also for this reason why I think they will skip Ricky Hatton this time because the guy is still in his prime. Mayweather, on the other hand, like de la Hoya, is already retired (for two years). Yet, given a promoter like Arum, he will still make good copy and draw in the millions.”
Rem Maclang wrote: “Right on the nose, you are! Had the “Golden Boy” been a little more active with a number of previous fights and not dragged down by his wealth — that recent fight with Manny would have been “THE match” instead of a mismatch. That’s why your insights be it political, sports or otherwise are “gems of purest ray serene” only fathomed by discerning fans of yours like me.”
Sluggo Rigor from the US wrote: “Great viewpoint, Billy! Same opinion shared by many Pinoys here in the States. And how cheap those politicos look as they stick to Pacman like leeches when the TV cameras are panning the scene! Like a great ad campaign, that Pacquiao-de la Hoya encounter was one big “hugot (crowd drawer).”
Of course, there were a couple of reactions we received from those who failed to see through the hype. One questioned my knowledge of boxing, as if boxing is some sort of a PhD that required a long study to master. This is no different from the assertion that one has to be a chicken in order to know what an egg is.
The other who protested the writing of the column cited me for seeing the negative side of the fight. In effect, he would rather revel in his illusion that what he saw was a great fight.
Our country suffers from two sources of idiocy — the state of not knowing the truth. The first source is lack of information and education — Filipinos who are unwitting victims. The second source is preferred idiocy, the state of denying the truth because illusion is willfully preferred.
If you get down to the cause of our country’s biggest problems, you will find that it is rooted to unwitting and preferred idiocy.